Patrick, a 36-year-old resident of Central City who declined to give his last name, sports a holstered Glock 25 at all times in his crime-ridden neighborhood where gunshots barely cause heads to turn.
“This is New Orleans,” he said Saturday after a 20-year-old man was fatally shot feet from his home. “It happens a block down, it happens a block up. It’s bad when civilians have to carry sidearms.”
Just days after the New Orleans Police Department issued a news release trumpeting an 8 percent reduction in the city’s murder rate through June, a bloody Labor Day weekend has put the city’s tally of killings on pace to eclipse last year’s total of 156.
Two people were killed Monday, making a total of five since Saturday and bringing the homicide count for 2014 to 101, according to Officer Frank Robertson, a spokesman for the Police Department. Last year, there were 96 murders as of this date, Robertson said.
Three other people were shot and wounded over the long weekend, including one man who was hospitalized in critical condition.
About 8 a.m. Monday, police were called to the 2600 block of Dreux Avenue. There they found the body of an unidentified man in a rear parking lot, according to Robertson. He had been shot several times.
Just before noon, gunshots rang out in a notoriously violent section of Central City. Witnesses said a man was sitting on a porch in the 2000 block of Second Street when he was shot numerous times in the body.
They said the man languished in a pool of blood-filled water gasping for life until paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital, where he died.
“He had been shot at least three times,” said Patrick, a bystander who lives on the block. “I tried to do CPR, even put one of my fingers on one of the wounds, but it was too late.”
Residents described a ghastly scene with police officers and paramedics taking at least 20 minutes to get the man’s body off the street.
Monique Gaines said children sat on the porch and watched the scene. She expressed frustration with the lack of police presence in the neighborhood.
“They got children all around here. You don’t ever see police patrolling this area,” she said.
Neighbors said the victim, an unidentified 20-year-old man, didn’t live in the neighborhood but often hung out with a friend after his shift ended as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.
“He wasn’t beefin’ with anybody around here,” said Genell Jacobs, who lives on the block.
She said the unrelenting drumbeat of violence in the area makes her worried to leave the house: “You could just be walking, never know what’s coming, and then get shot.”
The day’s next violent incident occurred in a Mid-City building when a man apparently tried to enter the wrong apartment — either accidentally or intentionally — and a female resident fired a bullet into his chest.
The incident occurred about 4:10 p.m. in the Marquis Apartments in the 2600 block of Poydras Street, according to Robertson.
He said the man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
A pool of blood sat in front of the fourth-floor apartment where the man was shot. A blood-soaked necklace could be seen down the hall, and bloodstains caked the elevator.
A man riding up to the fifth floor said it was his nephew who had been shot.
The victim’s grandfather, Lloyd Vanderhorst, lives on the fifth floor, directly above the woman’s apartment. He said he believed his grandson had accidentally tried to enter the wrong apartment.
He identified the victim as 20-year-old Courtney Vanderhorst.
“Everything here looks the same if you don’t pay attention to the numbers,” he said.
Robertson said the victim tried to force his way into the woman’s apartment.
The weekend’s violence began Saturday afternoon when a 53-year-old man, whom family members identified as Gerard Darcy, was gunned down in the doorway of his home in New Orleans East.
The incident occurred in the 4600 block of Galahad Drive about 2 p.m., according to Robertson.
Witnesses said they heard Darcy talking outside on his telephone before gunshots echoed through the residential neighborhood.
A neighbor said he heard a barrage of gunfire and then saw a pair of men jump into a white Ford Explorer and flee the scene.
“It was two guys, and the windows were so tinted I couldn’t see inside,” said the man, who declined to be identified out of fear for his safety.
Several hours later, a double shooting in the 7th Ward left a 27-year-old man dead and a 24-year-old woman wounded.
That incident happened about 10:05 p.m. at Broad and Treasure streets, Robertson said.
He said the victim was sitting in the passenger seat of a white Infiniti that a woman was driving. The two picked up a man who pulled out a gun and fired several shots at them, Robertson said.
The man in the passenger seat was shot several times and died at the hospital.
The woman drove herself to the hospital after being shot in the arm and the leg. She was reported to be in stable condition.
Slightly after midnight on Sunday morning, officers were dispatched to the 1400 block of Frenchmen Street, where they found an unidentified man dead on the sidewalk.
On Sunday afternoon, a 34-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound in the shoulder in the 2000 block of Seventh Street in Central City. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.